Friday, June 06, 2008

The Sheep, the Kanga and the One Authority - Part Two

Continued from yesterday's post about the sheep getting discriminated against, today i continue with a little discussion on the "holy universal church."

Gay death knell for the Anglican Church
So the gist of this article is basically that, firstly, in North America a "450-year old communion has little hope of holding together" - a little ambiguous because of the the use of the word "a", but anyway. Secondly, that the conference being held soon in Jerusalem is not about homosexuality, as many would probably believe. But now that I've read SMH's Good Weekend, this post is about more than just that article.
Today i was eating breakfast and spied the paper. I generally pick up Spectrum first to look uselessly at the book section (useless cz i get there and realise i don't care cz i don't know the authors and I've discovered a little dislike of the words section). But today i saw, on the front of Good Weekend a picture of two bishops and the title, "The Great Schism - is this the end of the Anglican church as we know it?" This immediately pricked my interest a) because I'm an Anglican - not a high Anglican, an evangelical Anglican and b) because of the article i just introduced you to. So i read the three page article on the issues in the Anglican Church, littered with quote from Peter Jensen, and i think it was great that i did before writing this. It's made me think much more carefully about the issues and how i approach them and what I'll say.
I've decided not to say too much, just a little.
Firstly, I just want to say that this is a tricky issue, but i think it's being handled well by our diocese. The North American church is really arguing that this whole thing is about homosexuality and the Good Weekend article seems to think so too.
"The church has held together despite Charles Darwin, the bells-and-smells
insurgents of Anglo-Catholicism, the collapse of the British Empire, the
discovery of the pill, the arrival off divorce, women as priests and even
women as bishops. But the gathering in Jerusalem (GAFCON) is intent on
'scattering' this communion of 75 million believers because the North American
church has gone soft on homosexuality"

This leads straight into my next point, but before that i have an underdeveloped thought to jot down. Thankfully John Woodhouse (principal of Moore college)makes our stance on homosexuality clear later on in the article, when he says that
. . . there is forgiveness available through Christ, but homosexuals who persist in
having sex are wicked sinners breaking God's law. . .
Of course, there's going to be misunderstanding of what we believe when its communicated to the wider non-christian community, but i think that was important to say. It also needs to be said that every sin is equally wicked in God's eyes, homosexuality is not worse than any other sin, which non-Christians often think we believe, i think. This issue is getting the Anglican church a fair amount of media time, and i just think, following on form the previous thought, that as we are speaking through this to those who aren't of the faith, we need to be careful of what we say and how it may be interpreted.
Following straight on form this and the quote form the article (before John Woodhouse's) is another point i want to make. The article in the Good Weekend seems to think the issue is over homosexuality, they made that rather explicit in the above quote. They are thus blatantly ignoring what Jensen says later int he article. "This dispute is not really about homosexuality. It's about authority and who runs the church. To most of the rest of us, God runs the church through the Bible." For that i say thank you Peter Jensen, but also, if the article is going to talk about this controversial issue, it needs to not take sides. It just looks really bad to me that they would do that. Also, i wouldn't take sides if you don't fully understand all the issues there are int he church, which i think this article doesnt. There's way more it than just morals - its an issue of theology and who is taking God as authority, and who is bending him around the society of today.
And that brings me into my last point. I just wanted to comment on the situation of the Anglican church in Australia. For those of you who don't know, the Sydney Anglican diocese is, as far as i gather, generally the only major Anglican diocese that is totally evangelical (bible believing) and not steeped in tradition. I admit i don't know heaps about the functioning of the national church but that's what i do know. I've come across some ridiculous comments made by Anglicans from other areas in Australia, such as the chief Anglican in Australia (sorry i forget his name and title) who's aid that we have no single authoritative text. My brother and i couldn't believe that the guy who said that and more was head of our denomination in Australia. Also what i found in this article. "But in many eyes its [the Sydney diocese] is hardly Anglican at all. Visitors from Melbourne worshipping in a Sydney parish might think they've wandered into a protestant chapel: where are the crosses and vestments? What's this demand that all believers be Born Again in Jesus Christ?" This is really, to me, unbelievable.
  • The Anglican church is protestant. The basis of it is being saved through faith alone and being born again.

I'm not going to try and explain myself further, other than say how much such statements irk me, because I'll end up saying something wrong accidentally and i dont want to do that.

So here is whee I finish, an hour later than when i started and ready to finish staring at a screen and go do something useful. Sorry, productive -> for school. I wasn't calling my blog useless! Hope I'm not entirely misunderstood. Sorry id didnt really talk about the article. Ha ha, i just got tied up int he issues surrounding it. Later dudes.

1 comment:

thecakeisalie said...

despite the fact that you strayed from the article, i think that this is a pretty good analysis, and i praise god that our diocese is as good as it is